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Melrose Woods

by Michael Beychok

It’s early Friday morning, like really early in Vegas since I’m on Central time. The coffee shops are 24 hours and I’m wide awake and ready to tackle the day ahead.

Before I head out to the ballroom where all the players are assembled I’ve got a few more hours of studying to do including looking at Bruno’s workout reports. I know there are several reports out there with regards to workouts but I go to the dance with the one that helped me make it to the top.

In 2012 I used Bruno’s workout reports to select a horse on the first day of the contest that was 45-1. Melrose Woods was a first time starter at Santa Anita who had some rather glowing reports by Bruno. This was not a case of “stabbing” for a long shot even though was hovering around the $ 20 mark and it was getting late on Day 1. The truth is I had scoped out this horse well in advance and my brother and I made some big bets on this horse with live money.

Melrose Woods had nothing but workouts to signal he was going to run big. He wasn’t well bred and his trainer didn’t do too well with first time starters. But, in a race where most of the others were proven losers he was worth a shot. The goal in a contest is to find horses that other players are not finding. Contest players are somewhat hesitant to use first time starters at long odds. If you can isolate a few of these and get lucky with the outcome during the course of a contest you will separate yourself from the field.

So, on this Friday morning I’m hoping to find another Melrose Woods type of horse. A first time starter who is working well enough to warrant a bet at long odds.

The Browns/Pletchers/Bafferts etc. get bet no matter what the workouts but it is the keen eye of Bruno and crew that has consistently tabbed horses who are under the radar.

I’ll look through the reports and note not just who is working well but who those horses are working with in company. For example, a slower workout but heads up with a proven stablemate signals some talent may be evident. With a short priced Pletcher or Brown you better be right most of the time but with a longer odds horse you need only be right a few times to show a profit and produce a good contest finish.

I’m hopeful today I can find one of those longer prices through a careful examination of the Withtheworks workout report.

Good Luck to all who are playing today in the NHC.


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